Planned Parenthood sues Idaho over abortion reporting law

Some of the materials used by the Oklahoma City County Health Department in the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program are on display at the health department in Oklahoma City, Monday, July 21, 2014. The 25th annual Kids Count report from the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Oklahoma 39th in 16 indicators across four areas: economic well-being, education, health and family and community. Teen births among girls ages 15 to 19 years old decreased 13 percent, from 54 teen births per 1,000 in 2005 to 47 teen births per 1,000 in 2012. Several affiliates of Planned Parenthood are suing the Department of Health and Human Services over its efforts to impose an abstinence-only focus on its Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program that has served more than 1 million young people. The lawsuits were filed Friday, June 22, 2018, in federal courts in New York City and Spokane, Washington, by four different Planned Parenthood affiliates covering New York City and the states of Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska and Washington. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands is suing the state of Idaho in federal court over new abortion reporting requirements that critics say are unconstitutional and intended to stigmatize women seeking medical care.

Planned Parenthood filed the lawsuit in Idaho’s U.S. District Court on Tuesday, asking a judge to declare the reporting law void.

The law, which went into effect July 1, created a list of what lawmakers deemed to be complications of abortion, and it required health professionals to report when they occurred. The list includes things that can typically occur in the immediate days after an abortion, such as bleeding, as well as things that are rare and typically considered by doctors to be unrelated to abortion procedures like an allergic reaction to anesthesia.

Abortion providers must also collect personal information about women receiving abortion procedures, such as age, race, number of children and the number of previous abortions.

Idaho’s reporting law aligns with a national trend among Republican-dominant statehouses seeking new ways to test the legal ability to restrict a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. At least 20 states have reporting laws on the books, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which opposes abortion restrictions.

Previous laws targeting abortion rights have been struck down in Idaho and other states, with some courts saying there isn’t enough information about alleged complications of abortions to justify the laws.

In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood contends that Idaho’s law arbitrarily singles out just one medical procedure for the reporting requirement, and that the law doesn’t do enough to protect women’s private medical information from being released to the public. Planned Parenthood also says the law is convoluted and puts health care providers at risk of criminal and civil penalties if they guess wrong when attempting to follow the vague reporting requirements.

Hannah Brass Greer, chief legal counsel for the agency, says the law has no basis in science and medicine and never should have passed in the first place.

“This is another attempt by Idaho politicians to shame and stigmatize people seeking abortion care and to spread the myth that abortion is dangerous,” she said in a prepared statement. “These reporting requirements burden patients and their medical providers and represent another example of government overreach by Idaho politicians.”

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s spokesman Scott Graf declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation.

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  • Warren s Pugh July 17, 2018 at 9:10 pm Reply

    Poor, poor Planned Parenthood. Just cannot get enough.

  • John W July 18, 2018 at 2:38 pm Reply

    I can say with absolute surety that abortion is dangerous. Nearly 100% of all abortions result in a baby being killed by his/her own mothers decision. That’s very dangerous.

  • John W July 18, 2018 at 2:40 pm Reply

    I can say with absolute surety Ms. Hannah Brass Greer that abortion is dangerous. Nearly 100% of all abortions result in a baby being killed by his/her own mothers decision. That’s very dangerous.

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